A trip together with your loved one is a great way to grow and to create beautiful memories together.
I used to be a solo traveler and I loved it. Then I met my girlfriend and I discovered that I love traveling with her even more than I loved traveling solo. I think it has something to do with being in love with your best friend. So I have been fascinated about other travel couples, how they do it and a favourite couple of mine is Alexander Waltner (swedishnomad.com / @swedishnomad) and Christine Wedberg (alienchris.com / @alienchrisblog) from Sweden who have mesmerised me a long time with their beautiful shots from their journeys from around the world.
I’m catching up with Alexander and Christine to see how they reason about traveling as a couple and doing it for a living – a highly inspiring discussion that really shows the passion and generosity of these two. Thanks so much guys!
Where are you right now and how are you doing?
We have some vacay in Sweden before our next adventure to New York, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
How did you guys meet?
We actually met at the beach on Rhodes in Greece. Both of us worked on the Scandinavian bar street, and it was love at first sight. This was back in 2012, and we have been a couple since 2013.
Where was the first destination you went together?
Budapest was our first destination, I, Alex, had been there before since my grandfather is from Hungary and I love it there, so, of course, I had to take my love to one of my favorite cities. Since then we have been back three times and we just love it, good food, cheap accommodation, great sightseeing, friendly locals and a nice city vibe.
How do you find traveling together as a couple differs from traveling solo?
Alexander: Well, it makes things a little easier when planning, at least if you want and like the same things as we do. It’s very rare that we don’t feel like doing the same thing. I also like the fact that you can get better accommodation and split the costs. While it can be fun to live at hostels and meet other travelers, it will not allow you to work properly. So it’s great to be able to rent nicer apartments where you can feel at home while on the road.
The downside is that you feel safe with your partner and won’t explore and challenge yourself as much as you would’ve when traveling solo. The downside is also one of the positive aspects of traveling as a couple. You are never alone if you don’t want to, and you always have someone you can trust and have your back.
Christine: Traveling together with someone you love is one of the most awesome things you can do. Sure, traveling solo can be very inspiring, fun and much freer – but a trip together with your loved one is a great way to grow and to create beautiful memories together.
If you are a couple and like to do different things, then solo traveling probably will be a better option. But, if you’re like Alex and me and like to do the same things, then traveling together is great!
You never get bored, since you’ve always got someone there to make you laugh, and you have an extra thinking mind in stressful situations. It’s also more economical, you always have someone to keep an extra eye on your belongings, and the best part – home is where the heart is, so you will never feel too far away from home.
Since you’re both full-time travel bloggers – Alexander is also the brain behind the Swedish travel website destinavo.com – how would you describe it is running a family business in travel?
It’s so much fun to share this passion, and we always inspire each other to write about new subjects. It’s also great because you can get a second perspective and proofread before publishing.
How is the planning procedure? Who picks where to go?
Well, we both pick where to go, but it’s not so much about picking, it’s more about the cheapest and most fun route available, and we choose together. We spend maybe a day on planning our next adventure and split the tasks like this; one will look for cheap flights, bus tickets and so on and come up with a fun route.
If we got some spare time, it’s not uncommon to showcase the route with a fun power point presentation on the tv-screen.
When we have chosen which route to take, the other will look for accommodation.
Tell us about your future travels and why you’ve chosen to go there.
The remainder of this year we’re going to New York, Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Alexander: Well, New York is a city that everyone should visit, but what I’m looking forward to the most are Mexico and Cuba. I have a great interest in history, so a visit to the world wonder Chichen Itza is something that I have wanted to do for a long time.
The same goes for Cuba; I love different cultures, and this is the last chance to visit before the American tourists will take over. Puerto Rico seems amazing as well with the old San Juan and Cueva Ventana.
Christine: My biggest reason why I want to travel to New York is that my two older sisters live there, so I want to hang out with them as much as possible and, of course, explore the city!
When I think of Mexico, I imagine wild sea turtles, paradise beaches and super delicious Mexican food – I’m dying to eat tacos, burritos and fajitas! From what it seems, Mexico has plenty of beautiful beaches and lovely nature to explore – so that’s going to be awesome! Besides me eating a lot of Mexican food and splashing around in the turquoise water, I’m also looking forward to visiting the world-famous Chichen Itza!
Last but not least: Cuba and Puerto Rico has always been a big bucket list for me since I adore the nature of Puerto Rico and heard so many good things about Cuba!
Tell us about an unforgettable moment that you’ve encountered throughout your previous travels.
Alexander: Well let’s say, be sure that you order chicken filet when you order chicken in Vietnam. One unforgettable moment is when we were at Phu Quoc Island and stayed in the local village of Duong Dong.
At this point, we had been in Vietnam for several weeks and just wanted a normal dish with no surprises. In the local area of Duong Dong it’s quite hard to find a place where they speak English, so we didn’t know what we ordered.
Anyhow this particular night we found a place where they spoke a little English, and the waiter explained that the dish we were looking at in the text menu, in Vietnamese, was chicken, so we ordered two plates (yay, finally some plain chicken breast), at least that’s what we thought.
But not this time, when the plates arrived we both looked at each other and didn’t know whether we should cry or laugh or what to do. The chicken we ordered was not some ordinary chicken, on our plates we were looking at chicken feet, yes, feet of a chicken.
This is definitely something that we won’t forget about for a long time.
Christine: Well, there is actually one moment of our trip in India that I’ll never forget. It was during our 4-hour train ride from Agra to Jaipur. When the train left the train station in Agra, we started to see something we’ve never seen before.
People, men, women, children and whole families pooping together along the railroad.
We saw another one, another family and also a couple of brothers doing their morning routines together. I mean, when you sit on a train for 4 hours you have to look out the window not to get bored. So what did we do? We counted them! And guess how many people we saw pooping along the railroad from Agra to Jaipur within 4 hours? 72 people!
So if you ever decide to walk along a railroad in India – keep your eyes on the ground, so you don’t see yourself stepping into a fresh pile of crap.
What have these travels taught you?
Alexander: The world is way smaller than you think, and people are not so different after all. Another important thing, don’t stress. There’s so much to explore out there, but there’s no point to explore it in a hurry, you will just be disappointed and not feel like you’ve experienced that place enough.
Christine: My travels have taught me to appreciate the small things in life and not to be happy by buying things. Before I started to travel the world I wanted to have expensive bags, go on luxury vacations and have a fancy life. That’s not what I dream about today.
By seeing families and people living on the street beeing twice as happy, and that made me appreciate what I have and the great life that I have lived.
My travels have also taught me more about animal cruelty since I’ve seen it happen in real life. It has gotten me motivated to try and put a stop to animal cruelty by teaching others about why it’s wrong.
What would you recommend?
Alexander: Just go, the adventure awaits. No matter if you’re a couple or traveling solo if you want to travel, do it. If you don’t have the money? Prioritize and save, don’t waste your money on things you won’t remember in a year from now.
Start spending money on things that you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life. And also, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path, most places around the world have Wi-Fi nowadays, and most people are friendly, no matter where you go, at least if you’re friendly and bring a smile.
If you’re a traveler today, start traveling responsibly. It’s so important, both when it comes to animals and nature, but also towards the locals. We are all one in this world, and we need to start acting that way.
As a traveler, we can do our best to not leave any trash behind or encouraging bad habits and activities.
Christine: Travel light. To travel with only one light carry-on or a small backpack is the best way to travel. During your trip, you will realize how many things and clothes that you wished that you would’ve left home.
I got this advice before my backpacking trip in Asia, and I decided to travel with a 30-liter backpack. That’s pretty light if you compare to the most travelers traveling with 50-70 liter backpacks for only 2-3 months. During my six month trip in Asia, I could’ve easily brought half of the stuff I had with me – which would’ve saved me from the pain in my shoulders and money/time by only traveling with a hand luggage.
And also, Japan & South Korea are awesome!